When a catastrophic natural disaster occurs, the efficiency of disaster response operation is crucial to life saving. However, communication systems, such as cellular networks, were usually crashed due to various causes that made coordination difficult for many disorganized disaster response workers extremely. Unfortunately, rapid deployment of many existing emergency communication systems relies on a good transportation system, which is usually not available in a catastrophic natural disaster. We propose an emergency communication system, Contingency Cellular Network (CCN), by connecting disconnected base stations together with wireless links and portable power generators. CCN can support existing mobile phone users with limited capability. Such a system can support a large number of voluntary workers in the early hours of a catastrophic natural disaster, thus saving many lives. Design philosophy and high level system architecture of our framework are presented in this paper.